A sortie, in pilot's lingo, is one bombing mission. When a pilot goes up to drop bombs once, that is one sortie. This term has been around since World War II and was used commonly in The Vietnam War.

Sor"tie [F., fr. sortir to go out, to issue, probably fr. L. sortus, for surrectus, p.p. of surgere to raise up, to rise up. See Source.] Mil.

The sudden issuing of a body of troops, usually small, from a besieged place to attack or harass the besiegers; a sally.

 

© Webster 1913.

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